Covid-19 lockdown has caused the sharp decline in the retail sales. Due to indefinite closures and uncertainty caused Covid 19 the discretionary spending is almost gone into negative mark. However, as the market is opening-up brands and ecommerce companies have started witnessing deferred spending in the categories like fashion, personal grooming amongst others.
Covid 19 has ushered a new type of normalcy which is quite different from pre covid timings. Now all the brands and ecommerce are busy decoding the norms of new normalcy. Speaking on same, Prahlad Krishnamurti , Head of Flipkart Fashion Originals: Licenses & Private Labels said,” The trend we largely see there is an uptake for the pent up demand which is there in the market and people are coming back for shopping non essentials.”
Prehlad also informed that Flipkart and Myntra has opened the operations this week for non-essentials last week only when it was allowed by official bodies. Both the companies were dealing into essentials since the implementation of the lockdown.
Prahlad was speaking at the webinar organised by the License India titled as Brand Licensing & Merchandising Summit, Asia.
Following are the key excerpts from his talk:
Resurrection of fashion
Prehlad informed that since the lockdown curbs have been lifted clothing and baby care is emerging are emerging as two largest categories from us may be due to pent-up demand. However, the complete resurrection in fashion category will take few months. Few categories like electronics has already touched the consumption as it was in the pre covid timings.
Going forward he informed that the number of sellers on the platform is also increasing. “As they are coming out of lockdown they are slowly resuming their operations. I think next 50-60 days things will be back to normal,” he said. However, for next year I can say fashion will shrink and essentials will continue to dominate. The trend is likely to continue.
Co-existence is the key
“Although, the immediate shift is on online, but I don’t think this trend to continue in the long run”, he said. As per him co-existence is the key for survival and dramatic shift cannot be expected here.
As he opinionated, “The concept of omnichannel is very nascent and not evolved in the country much. However, thing will change here onwards. Online cannot solve the problem of touch and feel which is very important in the categories like fashion. Therefore, O2O is the need of hour.”
Sustaining the relationship in the crisis timing
Maintaining healthy relationship is crucial at this point. Prehlad informed that being a licensee of many prominent brands the company share a strategic partnership with each of them. “In this time of crisis, we are having conversation with each and every brand associated with us. Therefore, we are doing different type of structuring potentially in the short term, for example, potential increased marketing spend which can be afloated back by royalty.”